My design London: Lee Broom, interior designer

Lee Broom talks about his converted fire station, London’s markets and boutique galleries.
Lee Broom, 38, is one of Britain’s leading product and interior designers and has a flagship store, Electra House, in Shoreditch. Trained in fashion design at Central St Martins, he has designed more than 40 shop, restaurant and bar interiors, and makes his own furniture and lighting collections as well as collaborating with big brands such as Heal’s, Liberty and Selfridges.

His innovatory lighting concepts have included turning the basic light bulb design into a bold crystal pendant. He launched his own label in 2007 with his first furniture collection and since then he has brought out new collections each year, selling in London and internationally.
 
WHERE I LIVE
Home is a converted fire station in Kennington with my partner, Charles Rudgard, who is also my business partner. It is one of the oldest fire stations in the capital with typical touches, such as brick tiles and huge steel girders, but architecturally it’s very modern. The interior contains many of my own designs. We also have a seven-seat retro cinema in the basement with original Art Deco cinema seats. It’s a great home for parties and entertaining.

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Clear: Lee Broom has turned the light bulb into a thing of beauty (£109 at www.leebroom.com)

MY DREAM PROPERTY
It would be a warehouse with a large outdoor roof area. I like lots of space and open-plan living works for me.  I prefer a large space with one bedroom instead of lots of bedrooms.
 
FAVOURITE POSSESSION
A leather jacket which was once owned by the American artist Keith Haring. It hangs in our living room. Haring painted the back of the jacket with a white crucifix in his classic Pop Art style. I prefer owning something like this rather than, say, a painting, because this was an item personal to him.

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Cushions: in traditional Ghanaian fabric (from £50) at The Darkroom, Bloomsbury

GREAT SOURCES FOR INTERIORS INSPIRATION
I love London and its markets — Portobello for vintage finds and Brick Lane on a Sunday, as it’s a little more raw and a lot cheaper. My Decanterlight range was based on vintage decanters, which we turned into pendant lights. I went hunting for vintage decanters in all these markets.
 
I love mid-century furniture and lighting, so often pop into Atomic, which is in Shoreditch High Street, or Two Columbia Road, just up the street. And I think Heal’s, since they’ve completely rebranded, with exclusive pieces from designers such as Ercol, is now a great mix of independent and high street.

I also visit galleries such as The Hayward or Pertwee, Anderson & Gold, a boutique gallery in Soho which has the most amazing exhibitions.

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EATING OUT
Barra Fina in Frith Street, Soho, is a favourite. There is usually a wait for a table but it’s worth it. I like tapas and it is great to see the food being prepared in front of you, it’s like theatre.


MY WEEKEND HANGOUT
If the weather is good it’s St James’s Park. It’s my favourite park in London — there are so many beautiful vistas and the wildlife is incredible.

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MOST COVETED DESIGN OBJECT
It would have to be the glass Ghost Armchair by Cini Boeri for Fiam, above. I love this piece. Often your views on design can change as your style develops, but for me this is a classic piece of contemporary design with timeless beauty.


FAVOURITE LONDON LANDMARK
I run fairly regularly, and as I live pretty central I tend to run over one of the bridges and back again. My favourite is Waterloo Bridge for the view — you get an incredible perspective of London.

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Colour craft: plates inspired by the late Italian architect and designer, Ettore Sottsass (£80 each) at The Darkroom, Bloomsbury

MY LATEST PROJECT
My new collection of lighting, glassware and accessories has been on show at my Shoreditch shop during London Design Festival. Marble, the collection’s core material, has a reputation for being a luxury material, so I have done something very contemporary with it. I have also designed an interior for a new Soho bar and restaurant called Old Tom and English which will be opening soon.

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Elegant: Broom’s Salon Lounge Chair in sumptuous fabric with stud detailing

THE NEXT BIG THING
I think we will start to move away from the reclaimed and industrial aesthetic. I believe that the style was a reaction to the times, and as we are heading out of recession, we will start to see a cleaner look.

Visit www.leebroom.com.

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